Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch Debates Henry Farrell on Taxes, Tea Parties, and Obama's Dishonesty


At Bloggingheads TV, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch debates with Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber fame about the allegedly libertarian nirvana of Somali piracy, the meaning and interpretation of yesterday's tea parties, the odiousness of bailouts, and Obama's lies about tax and budget policy. Whole thing clocks in at just over one hour.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Fat Fliers Face Added Fees, Mexico's Queenpins, Nobody Expects (Much From) the Spanish Inquisition

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  1. Day by Day has a good, somewhat related, cartoon today.

  2. I've started to wonder if Obama isn't lying so much to conceal the truth as he is lying in order to openly communicate the opposite of what he is saying. They're both dishonest and corrupt, but there's a difference.

    In the first case "we don't want to run the auto companies" or "we're going to lower your taxes" is meant as a simple denial or distraction: i.e. - "ignore what you suspect. Don't focus on that...".

    In the second case, it is actually "we are going to run the auto companies" and "we are going to raise your taxes through the roof... you'd better toe the line."

  3. "we are going to raise your taxes through the roof... you'd better tow the lion."

    Fixed that for you. We do have traditions here, you know.

  4. Good job Matt. What was up with Farrell? He barely responded to your points. Was he out of coffee?

  5. Anybody catch the Olbermann/Maddow show last night? A two-hour running gag (sorry) on tea-bagging. Pun after pun. They honestly thought they were being clever. The left used to be about ideas, however misguided. Now it's reduced to a vile and childish prank of a philosophy.

  6. Oh my. A professional politician who lies. How unheard of. I'm >yawn< shocked.

  7. 1. It's funny. I no pro-tea party people I've heard has referred to themselves as "teabaggers." That's am epithet by those who oppose the message of the tea partygoers (what was their message again?).

    It's like when people started cited man-walked-with-dinosaur Sarah Palin with lines from SNL.

    2. I find it interesting that Matt assumes all who protested must have supported the last administration. He wants to ask them "Why weren't your protesting then."

    I guess a sympathetic libertarian couldn't have attended any of the rallies.

    PS - I didn't attend, but I wouldn't make assumptions of those who did.

  8. BO is just another Wizzard of Oz. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. He is a slight of hand master put in front of a high speed camera audience. Eventually, we will catch on, but by then the quarter will have already been pocketed.

  9. The left used to be about ideas, however misguided. Now it's reduced to a vile and childish prank of a philosophy.

    It's not a left-right thing. It's about media stratification: Once they have an audience they know agrees with them (before they even say anything), they can forget professionalism. It just took a while for the left to find a counterbalance to Fox News.

  10. The tobacco control activists and the progressive/socialist who they have in their pockets claim that the goal of the cigarette tax is to get people to quit. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that the S-CHIP program is being funded with it is proof that that is not the intentended for that purpose. Would you fund a long term socialist program with taxes you intend to go away. The fact is they have ample proof that the taxes do not cause people to quit.

    The authors conclude that while in the past, cigarette price increases were associated with significant declines in smoking prevalence, that may not be true anymore: "Our findings, which are based on analyses of nationally representative data collected before and after the 1998 MSA, suggest a dramatic decline in the effect of cigarette pack prices on smoking participation in both lower and higher-income individuals. These findings, in turn, suggest that cigarette excise taxation may have become an ineffectual public health tobacco-control policy in the post-MSA era."

    In a letter to the editor published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2008 entitled "Tobacco taxes and cigarette consumption in low income populations," David Ahrens of the Population Health Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison argues that tobacco control groups should re-think their automatic support for increased cigarette taxes because the evidence shows that the primary effect of these taxes for the overwhelming majority of low-income cigarette smokers will be further impoverishment, rather than smoking cessation.

    This is no longer an attempt to get people to quit, (not the role of government in a free society) It is simply an attempt to pick the pockets of the poor and the working class.

  11. Right wing extremist? Tea party?

    In a very cheap attempt to minimalize and marginalize the tea parties the socialist/progressives released a report warning of right wing extremist. Where were the riots so common with progressive protests? Where were all the broken windows? The arrests? This was a nation wide protest and yet there were very few arrests.

    (WXYZ) - A Tea Party protestor who expressed her activism out in the middle of a busy road ended up being arrested.

    Doing both a google search and a yahoo search this was the only arrest that could be found.

    A much smaller protest on the progressive/socialist side yields many more arrests!

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - Percussion grenades, tear gas and nearly 400 arrests marked the final anti-war march during the Republican National Convention. More than 800 arrests were reported during a week of sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent dissent.

    Damn those right wing extremist.

  12. It is simply an attempt to pick the pockets of the poor and the working class.

    Better their pockets than mine. If they don't like it, they can join the Tea Parties and vote the bums out.

  13. Even if you don't usually enjoy bloggingheads.tv, PLEASE go and watch the 2nd half of this episode.

    Welch absolutely owned Farrell. On the biggest, most important issue-- the financial future of our dear republic-- Editor Matt brought his feisty Irish adversary to heel.

    It reminded me of an old LL Cool J lyric:

    DEstruction, Terror
    and MAY-hem
    Pass me a sissy-soft-sucker
    I'll slay him!

  14. In the first case "we don't want to run the auto companies"

    Obama doesn't want to run the auto companies just like I don't want to have to beat someone elses bratty kids.

    Really, I'm just waiting for the chance...

  15. R C Dean
    Better their pockets then yours? How progressive of you. That is why I think the only fair tax is the income tax. I do believe that anyone below a living wage should not pay anything. Anyone making over that should pay a flat percentage. No deductions none. The tax should be on individuals not corporations. Anyone who is honest knows that corps. do not pay taxes. It is just a part of doing business and is passed onto the consumer. Not to mention that it is double taxation. Corporations are owned by individuals, so the profits are taxed at the corporate level and again when the individual collects the profits from their stocks. Is their any wonder that we are not competitive in the world market. Countries like Japan subsidize their companies and we tax the hell out of them. Is there any wonder that there are no American manufactured electronic goods?

  16. Oh, I see. And the level of a "living wage" will be defined by the 51% of voters who don't earn what they consider to be a living wage. How very progressive of you.

    One way to end the double taxation of corporate profits would be to end corporations as a concept. Only individuals should be taxed. Because only individuals exist.

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